I just wanted to share my story here and hope to inspire someone else going through the same issues I was. My rebuild started in August 2020. At that point, my FICO 8 scores were EXP 520, EQ 526, TU 530. I was about to propose to my then girlfriend and I knew it was finally time to get serious about my credit issues if I wanted to build a life with her. Needless to say, with scores that low I made some huge credit mistakes along the way. At that point, I had 5 chargeoffs that were still reporting monthly:
Orchard bank $300
Discover IT secured $200
First premier $300
I also had a paid charge off from Citibank secured card ($300). As you can see, I burned 2 of best secured cards to start a rebuild with. I have an auto loan with gmc with no lates and student loans with a 90 day late from 4years prior. I found out from the forums that even though closed, COs reporting monthly were still dinging my utilization - so I had to get those paid ASAP. Luckily, I have a good job with a 120k annual salary so I had some extra cash to start paying off old debts. I contacted cap1 and offered a settlement in full which they accepted. I paid discover and first premier the following months (both settlements also). I went the settlement route since I knew I wasn’t going to be applying for a mortgage anytime soon.
By October, all of my open chargeoffs were now paid and reporting a $0 balance. Next, I knew I needed to get some credit cards reporting since I had none at that point. I started with the only one who would give me a card (since I burned everyone else) which was credit one. $300 limit. The following month, I was sent a preaporoval from Merrick bank for the double your line CC with a SL of $500. I paid those in full multiple times each month. By then, my F8 scores had risen to 596-600 on all.
Now onto March 2021. My fiancé was approved for 2 AMEX revolvers with a $1000 SL each. I became an AU on both. I also became an AU on her Chase FU card with a $500 limit. We continued to never carry a balance on more than one card and made sure all others reported a $0 balance each month. I still had about 10 inquiries on EXP from prior to me gaining knowledge on how that looks bad as well. My F8 scores were now in the 670’s. I also started reading more about NFCU and how great they were to get in with. I opened a checking and savings account with them and had all my direct deposits flow through them. They immediately approved me for a $1000 cash rewards card which I happily accepted. My TU F9 score was 696 at the time. In May, I also opened a penfed savings account with $100 deposit. To my surprise, I was also immediately approved for the penfed PCR with a SL of $3500!! That was my highest credit limit ever. EX F9 was 709 at that time. Feeling good, I tried for the AMEX gold (a goal card of mine for years) but was denied again. So I decided try for a store card just to get more available credit reporting. I got approved for a Home Depot card for $2000.
Fast forward to last week. F8 EXP 683. I decided to go in incognito mode and search for Amex pre approvals. It returned I was pre qualified for an AMEX gold with 75,000 SUB. I wasn’t too confident still after being denied by Amex so many times. But I decided to give it a shot. And wouldn’t you know - finally got the congratulations you’ve been approved message!! I really believe my income and my low overall utilization (5% aggregate) helped my get the gold charge card with a fringe score of 683.
I could not have navigated through all the FICO nuances and algorithms without the help of this forum. You all definitely were instrumental in changing my financial life and helping me raise my credit score over 160 points in just one year!
My next plan is to try for the coveted NFCU 2nd card strategy. My 91 day, 3 full statement date is September 22nd. Hoping to get that sought after 5-digit SL for my second NFCU card, and a big limit increase on my cash rewards card. Fingers crossed. I also would accept anyone’s input on when I should try for my 2nd Penfed card and limit increase. I opened that card in May 2021.
Thank you to everyone and I hope my story can inspire someone else who is in a similar situation. You can absolutely turn your credit situation around with the knowledge gained from this forum and having the discipline to stick with it!
Congrats on the rebuilding, great job!! Enjoy the AMEX gold and 75K MR Points!
Grats on the AmEx Gold approval👍
Looks like you are on your way to a solid rebuild, grats to it and your new Amex gold card
Congratulations on your Amex Gold approval!
Congrats on the approval and wishing you much continued success on the rebuild!
Congrats on your AMEX Gold approval
Congrats on your Amex Gold approval 👍🏼
Congratulations on your Amex approval!!
Congrats on your approval!